Interview: RX Bandits

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It seems like yesterday that the infectiously high-energy sound of RX Bandit’s album The Resignation was just being unleashed upon the masses. Looking back on that album you marvel at its staying power and how tracks like “Sell You Beautiful” transport you to an underratedly awesome time in rock ‘n’ roll music.

This weekend, RX Bandits returns to the East Coast to perform The Resignation in its entirety after taking a bit of a sabbatical from the music world. And what better way to return to your fans than with the album they cherish dearly?

Earlier this summer, on a cold and soggy day at The Skate & Surf Festival in Jackson, New Jersey, Pop-Break caught up with RX Bandits’ own Steve Choi and a coffee-drinking Matt Embree to talk about touring, being old and basketball. Editor’s Note: Front Page Photo Credit: Raymond Camero

Photo Credit: Mitchell Wotcjik
Photo Credit: Mitchell Wotcjik

Pop-Break: You guys said in 2011 that ‘this would be your last time out on the road’ — now two years later you’re embarking on a full-fledged nationwide your. How does it feel to be back on the road touring?

Steve Choi: To clarify, this was a time when we had a flow of constantly working and this was more of us taking a break from constantly touring and writing. We needed to take a break and step away and that’s what we did.

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Our mentality right now is we’re doing this current tour, taking things step by step and then we’ll see where it goes from there. We really try to do things by feeling and not planning anything out too far ahead.

PB: You’re currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Resignation — what was it about this record that made you want to dedicate a tour to celebrate it?

SC: It’s going to be coming up on ten years since it was released and it’s something we’re proud of. A lot of bands are doing it and I know a lot of our fans love that record so we just want to go out there and play it for them. We were 22 year old kids when we wrote it, we’re very proud of it.

PB: Any songs that you guys haven’t played in forever that you’re looking to dust off? Any your like ‘oh man, can we still pull that off?’

Matt Embree: There’s definitely some deep cuts on that record that we never play in a set that we’ll be playing on the tour. We never play “Pal-treaux.” We rarely ever play “Falling Down the Mountain.” And we don’t ever play “New Stand Rock.”

PB: Any plans on recording new music together?

SC: One step at a time for right now. I know that’s what’s everyone is wondering and I know that’s the question I’d be asking about ‘my band’ but this is the most honest answer.

PB: How does it feel being some of the elder statesmen on a festival like Skate and Surf…

SC: Dude, why you gotta say it all nice? We’re old bastards!

PB: Dude, I’ve got the gray hair … I’m the old one!

ME: You’re not alone dog!

Photo Credit: Raymond Camero
Photo Credit: Raymond Camero

PB: Alright, now that we’ve established none of us are young. Do younger bands look to you for advice? Does that make you feel old/odd or do you look at it like “It’s my job to depart my wisdom” onto the next generation?

SC: We’ve always had musician fans. So younger bands, even bands we just met today [at Skate & Surf] have come up to us and it’s really flattering. It’s awesome to have musicians as fans. They usually don’t ask for advice though unless you’re really ‘bro-ing down’ with them. I don’t know if there’s good advice to give though, it’s a crapshoot.

ME: Sometimes you just have to jump in the fire.

SC: You’ve got to find your own way, there’s no one way of making it.

PB: To wrap things up, what’s your pop culture break in your day — the piece of pop culture you really immerse yourself in to escape from the rigors of writing and touring?

ME: I watch every episode of Mad Men.

SC: I watch a lot of NBA basketball.

PB: I hope you’re not a Knicks fan…I am.

SC: We’re from California man.

PB: Were you pissed about The Warriors losing?

SC: No way man. It would’ve been great but they went as far as they could.

ME: It’s no dishonor to lose to The Spurs dude.

The RX Bandits will be performing on Friday July 19 at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia. Click here for tickets. The band will then perform at The Best Buy Theater in New York City on Saturday July 20th. Click here for tickets.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites